Rusty gem amid the Lightning Ridge opals – The Australian

Rusty gem amid the Lightning Ridge opals

The corrugated iron church in Lightning Ridge is typical of the recycled style of this colourful north-western NSW town.

Here, discarded junk such as gallon drums and car doors are reused as building materials. This quirky structure was constructed for 1967 Australian film Goddess and was never a functioning place of worship. Visitors come to capture its patchwork frame against the outback sky. Fossicking, or “noodling” as locals call it, for opals may be next on an itinerary. The area is famous for black opal, a rare and valuable gemstone discovered here in the 1870s. After trying their luck, visitors can soak in the town’s naturally heated Artesian Bore Baths.

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